My mom gave me a gift. A gift in the literal sense, not in the form of a physical trait like long legs, stunning sparkling eyes, stick straight luxurious hair or a character trait like the “gift to gab”, a gift for languages or gifted in the arts.
No, a real gift. One I can hold. For mother’s day.
She told me before she bought it that it was small. As a matter of fact she called it “Insignificant”. With that prep, I expected a new ladle. Maybe some dish towels that are better at soaking up water than the ones I already have.
I was wrong. Even more, SHE was wrong.
She gave me these earrings. Earrings that from a distance DO look small. Probably insignificant even. But up close, they are more significant, more perfect than any gift I recall receiving.
Small silver discs with a tiny b and a tiny u stamped to the front.
How beautiful is the simplicity of those two letters? I so often write about the difficulties I have Being Present. Living in the Moment. Capturing the minutes, days, hours so I don’t regret when they are gone. But more than struggling with the speed of life and my fear of regret, I struggle with ME.
Who am I and am I happy with Who I Am. Like many moms, I spend too many hours a day wondering how I’m faring at this mom job I have. Do I give too many hugs? Or too few. Do I yell too much? Or too little. Do I praise my kids enough? Or too much. Am I a good enough friend to them? Or too much of a friend? The questions, the angst, the worry. I never quite realized it would be so hard. Or hurt so much.
But I signed up for it. I’m in it and I’m not backing out. The best I can do is ALL I can do and I remind myself of this daily.
But it’s when I drop my kids off, one at the bus stop and one in his cheery preschool classroom, that I really start to think. Am I who I want to be? Am I who I have set out to be? Am I proud of ME? You’ve possibly seen some of my posts on friends. Why are they so hard to make? Why don’t I have more? Do I even want more? I’m at a point where I too often feel lonely. I don’t have the go to friends that I thought I’d have. And I do try. I smile a lot. I laugh a lot. I try to ask people questions that show I’m interested and sincere. I listen. I offer my thoughts but not too often. And not like I know so much.
But no one really seems that interested. In me.
So I wonder. Why? I wonder if I talk too much, ask too much. I wonder if I’m too wishy washy. I don’t ever give a strong opinion for fear of turning someone off. Do I have a look? Maybe the wrong look? Do I seem insecure? Or too confident?
I’m at a loss. Can you tell?
But then I got these earrings. B.U.
And I realize I need to listen to those words I say to my daughter almost daily. When she comes home sad because someone wasn’t “nice”. Wasn’t her “best friend” that day. Made her cry because they wouldn’t let her see their drawing. Rolled their eyes at her. Said, “duh”. I say, just keep “Being You” Hannah. Because you’re sweet. And smart. And funny. And friendly. And if someone doesn’t see that then why would you want them as your friend anyway?
“don’t let them tell you what to wear, don’t let them tell you how to feel, don’t let them tell you how to be. b.u. be you. (everything else is just imitation).”
Thank you mom.
For reminding me. To be me. I may not love everything about me. But it’s who I am. And you should pat yourself on your back. Because you made me this me.
And I love you for it.